Here’s what R5 million will buy you in Cape Town, Melbourne, Toronto and London

Despite the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions, prime residential prices performed better than expected in 2020, growing by about 1.9% globally.

Data from global property consultancy group Knight Frank shows that Auckland leads the index with average prices ending the year 18% higher – primarily because of how well New Zealand handled its pandemic response, ultra-low mortgage rates, and a limited supply of quality stock.

Asian cities occupy the next three rankings: Shenzhen (+13%), Seoul (+12%) and Manila (+10%).

“Despite Asian markets occupying a number of the higher PIRI (Prime International Residential Index) rankings, Australasia and North America were the top-performing regions in 2020, averaging annual growth of 4.9% and 6.3% respectively.

“Both regions saw a surge in pent-up demand as lockdowns eased and homeowners re-evaluated their lifestyles,” Knight Frank said.

At the other end of the scale, Buenos Aires (-12%) and Cape Town (-9.2%) saw the biggest respective drops in prime residency value.

Knight Frank’s data shows that property buyers can also expect to pay more for prime real estate per square metre, globally.

The group calculates this based on typical luxury residential values and the exchange rate at the end of 2020, compared to how many square metres $1 million will buy you.

“Monaco and Hong Kong are still the world’s most expensive residential markets – positions they have held for the past decade. London retains its third spot, with New York in fourth place,” the group said.

“Geneva has moved up the rankings this year, while cities in emerging markets such as Cape Town and São Paulo offer more space for your money than last year, due to a combination of softening prices and currency shifts against the dollar.”

Based on the above data, BusinessTech looked at what R5 million will buy you in some of these key prime residential markets, including Cape Town and London.

South Africa

4 bedroom house in Constantia, Cape Town – R4.65 million

4 bedroom house in Rosebank , Cape Town – R5.25 million

4 bedroom house for sale in Mowbray, Cape Town – R4.65 million 


Studio flat in Romford, London – R4 million (£200,000)

2 bedroom flat in Heathcote Grove, London – R4.4 million (£220,000)


1 bedroom apartment in Melbourne, Australia – R4.9 million (AUD $450,000)


1 bedroom apartment in Toronto Canada – R5.9 million (CAD $519,000)

Read: This South African billionaire doubled his wealth over lockdown

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Here’s what R5 million will buy you in Cape Town, Melbourne, Toronto and London